This introductory chapter first sets out the purpose of the book, which is to provide a critical analysis of the definitions of war crimes and crimes against humanity as construed in the Rome Statute and developed by the Elements of Crimes. It then discusses the origins of the International Criminal Court (ICC); default mental element for offences in the Rome Statute; and Article 21 of the Rome Statute, the law to be applied by the judges of the ICC when adjudicating cases and interpreting the definition of crimes. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.
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